Voters agree raise property taxes, keep schools open

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. - Two schools will remain open in the Metro East. Voters in St. Clair County decided to raise property taxes to help fund Grand Middle and Illini Elementary in Fairview Heights.

There are 720 students and about 95 faculty and staff they were waiting on pins and needles for today's vote. All 13 precincts are accounted for with more than 1,600 voters voting yes and 530 no votes.

This is not the first time Grant School district has asked for a tax increase. Last year the proposition failed by about 70 votes. The proposition asked for voters to raise the property tax rate by $0.85, meaning on a $100,000 home, it would cost an extra $8.25 per month.

The superintendent says they have lost $1.2 million in the past five years from the state of Illinois. And at the rate they were going, unless voters passed this proposition they were going to have to shut down the schools.

"It has been a long time coming but on the same note I think the community needed to see that we were doing things with fidelity and needed to be assured that we were doing it right and they saw that and they came out and supported it this time," said Superintendent Matt Stines.

The superintendent says within three or four years the school district will be back out of debt and be able to add those programs they've had to cut in years past like art, music and computers.


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